One thing that I love about Jungle Speed is that it is so easy to learn, and so interesting to see. I've taught the game over and over to children and teens that I have taught over the past year, and there haven't been too many that have not enjoyed it.
Many of those I've taught it to, mind you, wanted to learn because they saw others playing it. Just watching the game has gotten numerous people intrigued enough to want in.
This was once again the case on July 20, at the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pre-release party at the Bay-Bloor Indigo book store, here in Toronto. It was slated to be not only the biggest pre-release party in Toronto, but the biggest one in Canada. I don't know how big they got elsewhere in the country, but I can tell you, it was HUGE. **Sadly, I don't have any pictures of the event yet, but I'll get them up ASAP**
A few of us there were regular gamers, just enjoying all of the Harry Potter goodness, waiting for midnight. While I was just sitting around with my family, fellow gamer Colin comes up to me and tells me he's found a good table to play some games on, maybe Guillotine? Perhaps some Jungle Speed, if I had it? Well, my theory is...don't leave home without some pick-up games, 'cause you just never know when you'll have some time, space and opponents!
So I joined the small group that were ready to play Jungle Speed, on a nice square wooden table, big enough for a good 8 or so to play comfortably.
I brought out the game, and away we went...
There were 8 of us for the first game. I knew everyone but one person, who may or may not have been a friend of someone already there. Half of us were veterans, the rest either brand new or pretty new to the game.
The store was packed, let me remind you, with people of all ages going back and forth around us, many of them dressed in their best Potter duds.
Having gone out first, as I am used to doing , I was able to explain the game to all of the passers-by who stopped to check out what we were doing. And let me tell you, there were a LOT of people who were checking out the game. I didn't get to talk to everyone, so I'm not sure if anyone else knew the game, but some people did know how to play Spoons, so there was familiarity.
Another 8-player game, this time with two or three new people. One was a young girl who came over with her mother, both interested in what all these people were doing huddled around the table. The girl knew how to play Spoons, but was too shy to play. After a little bit of encouragement from us and her mother, she joined in. I must say, she didn't take long to get the hang of it, and she did pretty well.
More and more people came by and watched the game, and by the time it was down to the last three players, there was another crowd gathered round, eager to play.
The last game saw a whole new group of people, other than me, who was teaching the game. There were 7 players altogether now. They were all friends, probably in their late-teens, and all dressed up in cloaks and school uniforms and the such. Gotta love the Harry Potter spirit!
Everyone loved the game, and since they all knew each other, their favourite parts were the mistakes and the big wins when someone had to take a big stack of cards.
Overall, I think it was a great night for Jungle Speed. A lot of new people were introduced to the game, and we kept directing people to the gaming store that was just downstairs, where they could pick up the game.
Thank goodness for Harry Potter and all of his fans...they make for great Jungle Speed opponents!